A Hemingway resident complained to the town’s councilmembers, mayor and administration May 9, at the monthly council meeting regarding the placement of “no trespassing” signs near where she feeds feral cats.
Before allowing Faye Owens to speak, Acting Mayor George Sutton told her that the town administration would review her concerns and get back to her in writing before the June council meeting.
Owens then told council she has been feeding three cats that come out of the woods at Hemingway High School and the National Guard Armory building on Cribb Street, near where she said she owns property.
She said she has been doing so about two years because the county’s animal control office has not responded to her call to pick the cats up. About a month ago, Owens said, when feeding the cats, a man who owns a house nearby “verbally attacked” her and said she could not feed the cats. She said she was not on his property and didn’t feel she was trespassing.
According to Owens, Hemingway Police Chief Bryan Todd told the man that she was not on his property, but might be on government property.
“Later that day, when I returned to my house, small no-trespassing signs had been placed at the National Guard Armory,” Owens said. The National Guard Armory parking lot is used for graduations, school parking and funerals and such, she said.
“So, if I’m not allowed on this property, then no one else is,” she said. “I need an answer … is this just for me?” Regarding the signs, Owens said they were small, and have since being put up, blown away.
“I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way about animals as I do,” she said, “but their rights don’t outweigh mine.” Sutton reiterated that someone from the town would be in touch with her and thanked her for coming to the meeting.
After passing the minutes of the April meeting, council went into a closed session to discuss personnel matters and a contractual matter.
Administrator Joe Lee saved his report for that closed session and town attorney Greg Askins was present during the 45-minute closed-door session. When the council meeting was reopened, Sutton said no action was taken during the meeting and the meeting adjourned.
In April, Teavis Young with the Pee Dee Coalition spoke to council, reminding them of the group’s services to those involved in sexual abuse and domestic abuse in the area. The Coalition has obtained a building in Kingstree near the Williamsburg County Courthouse to better help the county’s residents.
Hemingway resident Denise Santoro spoke to council, telling them she has decided not to run for President of the United States due to her health.
During the April meeting, councilmembers approved a $4,750 grant to the Rick and Susan Goins Boys and Girls Club in Hemingway. The money will be used to help with a three-day basketball tournament.
Council passed second reading on an ordinance to allow the county offices to collect the town’s taxes.